IBM is using machine learning to detect Alzheimer’s way before symptoms show up

The problem with treating Alzheimer’s is that once the symptoms start showing up, it’s already too late—meaning that early detection is absolutely vital in coming up with working solutions. Using the power of machine learning, IBM researchers have figured out a way to detect a biological marker associated with the disease through a simple blood test. Apparently, that biological marker, which is found in spinal fluid, starts changing decades before the first signs of the disease show up. The problem is harvesting spinal fluid for testing is highly invasive and expensive, making it not ideal for an early detection procedure. What the IBM scientists have figured out is that it’s possible to identify the proteins in the blood that can predict the concentration of the biomarker in spinal fluid, making early detection not only possible but also affordable. The method is still in its early stages of testing, but in the future, scientists could use it to find appropriate subjects for programs developing a cure.

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